During the holiday season it is always better to give than to receive, and with that in mind, CORE’s Christian Rogers renewed his involvement with a special charity this year. As the CORE Blog heads into a break until the new year, Christian tells us about this important cause.
It’s been a fantastic year, so I was really excited to be able to give back. It’s funny how giving back, however, is not exactly straightforward. There are so many great causes and so many fantastic charities. How does one choose? The existence of sites like Charity Navigator can make it easier, but the fact that they exist, and the many different categories and sub categories they list for qualifying charities, is a testament to the complexity of choosing a cause.
Not being predisposed to a particular cause, I applied some basic criteria. The charity had to be efficient, meaning as much money as possible had to go directly to helping people on the ground rather than to paying for administrative costs. It also had to help a large number of people in a fundamental way.
As I searched I came across an incredibly efficient charity with an incredibly big, yet clear goal that was excellently branded – charity: water, a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to developing nations. Scott Harrison, the founder, has a big objective with a very simple approach: bring clean drinking water to 1 billion people, make sure 100% of public donations go directly to funding projects, prove to donors where their donations are spent, and in his own words, “not suck at design!”
Some of the most serene views in Manhattan belong to the buildings facing the East River that dot the edges of Sutton Place and its surrounding neighborhoods. It’s an iconic view, and one you’ll get from the corner 2BR/2BA apartment listed by CORE’s Elisabeth Kee at 25 Sutton Place South. Waking up to postcard views of the river is great, but we also love this night view (especially around the holidays), with the Queensboro Bridge twinkling with light like the world’s biggest Christmas tree.
Is it too late to find a fantastic holiday gift for someone special? Or two? Or ten? Not in New York City, of course. We asked some of our top CORE agents to share their last-minute picks for great holiday shopping. Procrastinators can thank us, well, later.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market [link]
Neighborhood: Columbus Circle/Central Park South
Tips: This is my favorite market for holiday gift shopping since you will find a wide range of unique goods such as handmade clothing, jewelry, toys, ornaments, artwork and gourmet foods from boutique vendors and craft purveyors. You’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list! It’s only open until Christmas Eve.–Lisa Graham
C. Wonder [link]
Tips: Co-founder of Tory Burch mixes with Chanel and Goyard. It’s a fun, chic store that’s super affordable…there’s something for everyone, including guy stuff. I purchased a tote bag that offers a monogram, palm tree cocktail plates for a Yankee swap party with a “beach style” theme, nylon attaché cases, and monogram wine corks and cheese boards.–Lawrence Treglia
Tiffany & Co. [link]
Tips: When racking one’s brain for the perfect gift, last minute or otherwise, Tiffany always shines. Even at its busiest, it radiates a calming energy. Their personal shoppers take the drag out of holiday shopping, as there are no lines or bargain hunters to contend with. And let’s face it, even the most jaded New Yorker must admit that the timeless mystique of Tiffany’s legendary blue box is intoxicating. (Holly Golightly knew this.)–Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon
The Shops at Columbus Circle [link]
Neighborhood: Columbus Circle/Central Park South
Tips: Particularly Sephora, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma and Godiva. I love the convenience of having a variety of options all in one place in my neighborhood. For example, I can run down to Whole Foods and have a basket of cheeses made with delicious meats and pick up a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. Then I can easily run up to Williams-Sonoma and Godiva to help complete the gift baskets. And in the midst of shopping madness you can take in a coffee and a pastry at Bouchon.–Adrian Noriega
Chelsea Market [link]
Tips: There are vintage vendors in a pop-up space. In addition, there are additional pop-up stores at 19th street and 10th avenue and 15th street and 10th avenue offering various items. I bought cool vintage belt buckles, a knife set and a vintage mink wrap.–Lawrence Treglia
The Upper Breast Side, Bank Street Bookstore, J. Crew, American Apparel and Paul Smith
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Tips: The Upper Breast Side for cute baby gifts like swaddle blankets, socks that look like Converse sneakers, ballet slippers and awesome headbands. The Bank Street Bookstore for the best kids’ and teen books and the most knowledgeable sales people. J. Crew and American Apparel for scarves, gloves, and hats. And Paul Smith has the best stocking-stuffers and men’s gifts.–Natalie Rakowski
West Elm [link]
Tips: There is something for everyone’s home here. I often walk through the block-long store, entering on West 17th Street and exiting on West 18th Street (even after the gift-giving season, just to warm up).–Stuart Sussman
We probably sound like a broken record when it comes to Chelsea–galleries, bars, restaurants, hotels, the High Line, etc.–but we just believe in the neighborhood and its attributes that much. This two-bedroom apartment in a boutique condominium on West 18th Street really is an eye-catcher, and it’s easy to see why: Top of the line appliances are everywhere, all bathed in light from the floor to ceiling windows. All this, in the best location around. (There we go again.)
Who doesn’t love a popularity contest? The Wall Street Journal just published a video counting down the newspaper’s most viewed Houses of the Day in 2011, and CORE properties took the top two spots! Coming in second was the quirky and whimsical “Steampunk apartment” at 120 West 29th Street, known for its interesting antiques and sci-fi soul. The most popular House of the Day was also located in Chelsea, at 232 West 15th Street, a historic townhouse that happens to have a full-size swimming pool in its living room. Check out the video above to get a glimpse inside both one-of-a-kind homes.
The WSJ is also asking readers to pick their favorite 2011 House of the Day. Click here to cast your vote!
What’s New is a weekly look at one of CORE’s most striking new listings.
The stock of large, thoughtfully designed apartments in TriBeCa isn’t vast, so it’s hard not to take notice when one hits the market. This recently renovated penthouse at 60 Beach Street, a building that dates back to 1930 (with the cobblestone street outside to prove it), drew the attention of Curbed within moments of going public. The duplex has three bedrooms spread over its two floors, and plenty of personality. The loft’s casual elegance is refreshing, and the light pouring in through those big windows — a staple of great TriBeCa lofts — makes the whole space come alive. What’s not common in converted loft buildings? Private outdoor space. Yet this penthouse has two roomy terraces. A peek at one below:
Best Place of the Week: 220 Riverside Boulevard
New York Daily News (12/16)
The Daily News named this 3,000-square-foot condo (right) in the Upper West Side’s Trump Place its “Best Place of the Week,” and it’s not hard to see why. CORE’s Emily Beare told the paper, “You see the George Washington Bridge to the right, and you can see through the kitchen and see a beautiful view to the left. Wherever you are in the apartment, you see amazing views.”
House of the Day: Chelsea, Storage, Space
Wall Street Journal (12/15)
A cool apartment in Chelsea with high ceilings, private outdoor space, all sorts of added storage and a “hiding space” behind the kitchen was the subject of a great Wall Street Journal “House of the Day” slideshow. CORE’s Stuart Sussman and Tom Postilio have the listing at 246 West 17th Street.
New York Post (12/14)
The $1.6 million sale of a 2-bed/2.5-bath condo in SoHo’s Urban Glass House at 330 Spring Street made the Post’s weekly roundup of big sales around New York City. CORE’s Adrian Noriega had the deal.
We know we’ve been talking about our new project, 1280 Fifth Avenue, a lot lately. So today we’ll just show off a little of what we’re so excited about. Here’s a beautiful view of Central Park from the building, including the Harlem Meer (”meer” is Dutch for “lake”), a name that salutes the area’s early settlers. Hidden by the fall foliage near the lower left corner of the photo is the Bernard Family Playground, which enjoys some great views itself. Not bad for a front yard, right?
It’s impossible to sum up Colin Cowie with just one title, but “master of ceremonies” is a start. For over 25 years the South Africa native has been known on these shores as the party planner to the stars, and that love of hospitality and design has turned Cowie into much more than an event planner. He is now a lifestyle guru, interior designer, product developer, television personality and best-selling author. Cowie recently sat down with CORE Managing Director Emily Beare (who sold Colin his first home in New York City!) to discuss holiday entertaining tips, his favorite neighborhood stores for picking up party supplies, his ideal Manhattan kitchen, and more. It’s all in the latest CORE Talks video, seen above.
HGTV’s “Selling New York” follows CORE agents as they navigate the country’s most competitive—and compelling—real estate market. Here’s our behind-the-scenes look at Episode 409, which first aired on December 15, 2011. For more SNY recaps, click here.
In “Big Decisions and Fast Deadlines,” CORE CEO Shaun Osher and top broker Doron Zwickel collaborated with developer Francis Moezinia of Rex Properties to bring a luxury rental building at 83 Franklin Street in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood to the market. The building’s high ceilings, high-end amenities and condo-like finishes made it a rarity in the Manhattan rental market, and pricing the apartments was tricky. Doron had to tour over a dozen other luxury rental apartments in the neighborhood in order to come up with competitive pricing for each of 83 Franklin’s 11 units.
Working with a hands-on developer isn’t always easy—and Shaun and Doron acted as the “voice of reason” when it came to identifying the perfect price range. While Francis was expecting around $9,000/month for the first apartments, it was ultimately decided that starting low at $8,500 would be the best way to get renters in quickly. According to Shaun, pricing is more of an art than a science, and it all worked out. A low-key open house event brought in a crop of candidates, and four weeks later 9 of the 11 units were rented — all for above the asking prices.
Keep on reading for some exclusive behind-the-scenes information about what didn’t make it into last night’s episode of “Selling New York” and what happened after the cameras stopped rolling!